Florence, Italy

Introduction

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study for the summer in Florence, Italy. On-site, the program is coordinated by Lorenzo de’ Medici.

This program is open to all majors, but is particularly ideal for students who are pursuing degrees, minors and/or certificates in the following fields of study:

  • Architecture
  • Studio Art (painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, restoration, ceramics, graphic design, interior design, jewelry design)
  • Art History
  • History
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Business

2024 application deadline: Friday, Feb. 16

Schedule an appointment with a Study Abroad Adviser on STAR Balance.

Informational meetings:

2024 program dates:

  • Session 1: May 30 – June 27
  • ARCH Studio: May 30 – July 13 (Tentative)
  • Session 2: July 4 – August 1
  • Students not attending the ARCH Studio program can choose Term 1 or Term 2 or Both terms.
  • Students may choose from a variety of courses taught in English, and Italian (elementary through advanced levels) at Lorenzo de’ Medici

2025 program dates: 

  • Session 1: May 29 – June 27
  • ARCH Studio: May 29 – July 13 (Tentative)
  • Session 2: July 3 – July 31

Host Institution

Established in 1973, Lorenzo de’ Medici (LdM) is located in the heart of this elegant city, on Via Faenza, in the San Lorenzo quarter, just a few steps from the famous Medici Chapel and the San Lorenzo Market. Originally a convent, the main building was completely renovated in 1988. It occupies four floors and offers a variety of modern conveniences, such as a cafeteria, air conditioning, reading rooms, three professional kitchens, and a garden. The church of San Iancopo di Corbolini dates to the 13th Century and is an integral part of the school. LdM is an urban school, consisting of six building sites within walking distance of one another.


Curriculum

The UHM Summer in Florence program provides students an opportunity to fulfill UHM major, minor, elective, foundations, diversification and foreign language requirements for graduation. The program runs from late May until late June. Levels of Italian courses offered range from beginning to advanced, meeting four days a week. Students are taught grammar and syntax at each level. Particular care is given to widening the students’ vocabulary by means of reading and conversation. Upon arrival in Florence, students take a language placement exam (written and oral) to determine the appropriate language level and to maximize language learning. In addition, there are also courses offered in English, which meet four times a week. Students can choose to take only these courses in English or a combination of Italian language. All students must be enrolled in a total of 6 credits, or two classes.

The UHM Study Abroad Center appoints a designated UHM Resident Director when appropriate. The Resident Director oversees students’ academic progress and mentors all participants. All students must participate in experiential learning activities led by the Resident Director in addition to taking classes at the host institution.

COURSE OFFERINGS

Please consult LdM’s online course schedule page to view the most updated information on the courses offered. Select “Florence” and “June” as the location and summer term. LdM offers classes in English within three main divisions: Art and Sciences, Creative Arts, Design; and Italian Language Learning (beginning through advanced levels).

Click here for a list of LdM Courses with UHM Equivalents. Course offerings are subject to availability and may change without prior notice.

Notes for selecting course:

  • ITL courses taught in Italian. All other courses taught in English
  • Students will take 2 3-credit courses (6 credits total).  The architecture studio course cannot be combined with other courses as it is 6 credits.
  • Your 2 courses must not have time conflicts.
  • For all Italian Language study, you will sign up for Italian at 9am and 1:15pm
  • Architecture 415 Studio: only this course – 6 credits
    *An opportunity to conceive and carry out advanced design projects based largely on themes of local or national importance. Projects generally involve the comprehensive design and analysis of modern medium-to-large scale complexes and public buildings such as museums, airports, railway stations, waterfronts, or hospital complexes. Students expand and hone the skills necessary to create a comprehensive architectural vision and implement plans of significant scale and complexity. Must have completed ARCH 342 pre-req.
  • *Business students: Please consult with the business school “Partner Schools” page for approved, unexpired equivalencies.

FACULTY RESIDENT DIRECTOR

The UHM Study Abroad Center appoints a designated UHM Resident Director when appropriate. The Resident Director oversees students’ academic progress, mentors and/or tutors all participants. All students must participate in experiential learning activities led by the Resident Director, in addition to taking classes at the host institution.

Summer 2024: Georganne Nordstrom, UHM Dept. of English. Click here for her student experiential learning plan.

Courses taken at LDM will appear on UHM transcripts as UHM credits.

Current as of May 30, 2024.


Location

Amidst the beauty of the rolling hills of the Tuscan Valley lies Florence (Firenze), a city replete with history and charm. Florence is definitively one of the preeminent treasures of Europe. It is through Florence’s beginning as a Roman settlement in the First Century B.C. and provincial capital at the height of the Roman Empire that one finds the framework for its future greatness.

Due to its link to antiquity, Florence spurred a revolution which shook Europe by becoming the birthplace of the Renaissance. The move from feudal conflicts with the rise of the Medici “dynasty” under the guidance of Giovanni di Bicci allowed commerce to flourish. In turn, this created an environment conducive to intellectual pursuits. Foremost on the list of intellectual pursuits was the study of antiquity. Soon, the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome became a Florentine passion.

Modern-day Florence is also shaped by its recent history. In 1865 Florence became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, overseeing the unification of most of the Italian city-states. In 1871 Florence relinquished the honor of being the capital of the Kingdom of Italy when the final unification of Italy was effected by the capitulation of Rome.


Housing

Students are housed with an Italian family (two students share a room) and have breakfasts and dinners provided Monday-Thursday. Students are responsible for meals on Fridays and weekends. Single accommodations are available at an additional supplement. A major value of the homestay is that it provides students with the opportunity to closely interact with and learn from the host country nationals.


Excursions

LdM arranges several excursions in the Tuscany region and beyond. Two overnight excursions will be included in the total cost of the program, while others will be available on-site for an additional fee. possible destinations include:

Florence, as any other major city, offers students a variety of cultural and social activities. The city offers a range of restaurants, clubs, shops, museums, theaters, and other recreational facilities.


Photos

Florence, Italy


Program cost (from 2024)

  Session 1 Architecture Session 2
  two 3-cr. courses two 3-cr. courses
shared housing

$6,831

$7,848 $6,831
single housing

$7,091

$8,238 $7,091

Cost includes LdM tuition, shared homestay, orientation, two excursions, meals, laundry, ground transportation, UHM Study Abroad and other fees. Students who opt for single accommodation will pay a supplement.

Roundtrip airfare between Honolulu and Florence is not included; students have the option of taking the flight arranged by Third Eye Travel or make their own travel arrangements.

FINANCIAL AID

FOR UHM STUDENTS ONLY: In order to receive financial aid, please ensure that either: a) you are receiving financial aid during the preceding semester, or b) that you complete the Financial Aid application during the current semester. www.hawaii.edu/fas

NON-UHM STUDENTS (those attending other colleges and universities during the regular school year) must apply for financial aid at their home institutions.

SCHOLARSHIP

See the Money Matters & Resources page for a list of possible scholarships.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Schengen visa-free


Admission Requirements

Students are eligible to study abroad as early as the second semester of their Freshman year or later.

The program is designed primarily for undergraduate students. The minimum requirement is a cumulative GPA of 3.0. However, students with a lower GPA may be considered in exceptional cases. Non-native English-speaking students must have taken the TOEFL exam within the last two years and earned a composite score of 600+ or have passed the UHM ELI placement exam.

Admission to the program is selective. All applicants for the program will be judged on their academic performance, reasons for wishing to attend the program, flexibility, and sensitivity to other cultures, and ability to adjust to a new cultural setting.

Immediately upon acceptance to the program, students are required to pay a $500.00 non-refundable initial payment to ensure a place in the program. The initial payment will be applied toward the cost of the program.

Please note that students accepted to the program are required to attend three mandatory pre-departure class sessions totaling 12 hours. Failure to attend will result in students being withdrawn from the program.


Application

A completed Study Abroad Center application and two academic references must be received by the Study Abroad Center to receive consideration.

Students from outside the UH System must also submit official transcripts from every college attended.

The Study Abroad Center is closed on weekends, and Federal and State holidays.